On this special memories day for me, I think back to the introduction to canal life, and sharing that with others. I hope that I can continue to do that with those that would care to experience that which I was lucky enough to share in the past… Five years on, I reflect on how things have changed, and how really privileged I have been.
So I am now in Manchester, in the Bridgewater basin, with about 10 canal arms and basins surrounding. Makes it very obvious as to the past importance of the canals. Most are derelict: just lily-pad covered stubs and old wharfs, but the message is still here. I toured casually from Worsley to here, crossing over the Barton Aquaduct. This is a swing aquaduct (!!): think swing bridge you see in the picture, but I am in a trough of water that seals at both ends, then swings to allow large ships to pass on the lower levels of the Manchester Ship Canal. Not swung very much anymore, it was an essential part of making Manchester a major shipping center in the day. You can see the very high levels of the motorway flyover bridge in the distance. (if you look very carefully!)
I’ll stay here in Manchester, getting boat things done ,and checking out the major attractions of this city. Lots to follow. I’ve included some pics from along the way: mills at Leigh, some of the greenery of the canal lanscape, and a photo of the approach to the historic wharfs of Wigan, which were so important in making the Leeds and Liverpool Canal important.